Meet Asako Kanda, the World’s Biggest Hello Kitty Fan

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Hello Kitty has millions of fans around the world, but none are more in love with Sanrio’s iconic character than Asako Kanda. The 39-year-old receptionist from Japan has amassed a fantastic collection of over 4,500 Hello Kitty items.

Like many other girls of her generation, Asako’s fascination with Hello Kitty began during her elementary school days. At first, she just bought little things like pencils and erasers featuring the popular kitty, but by the time she turned 11 she was so obsessed with Sanrio’s creation that she made a Hello Kitty mug in her pottery class, and an embroided Hello Kitty apron for her home economics course. But she can’t be the only girl in the world who did this kind of stuff while growing up. But that’s the thing, while most other girls move on to idolizing boy bands or movie actors, Asako Kanda remained faithful to her childhood friend. “Kitty has always been with me, almost subconsciously,” she said in an interview a few years back. Some people call her infantile, other laugh at her bad taste, but none of this has ever affected her long-term love affair with Hello Kitty. She now holds the Guinness World Record for most Hello Kitty items, 4,519, as of August 2011.

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Thai “Sorcerer” Gives Disciples Bulletproof Tattoos, They Decide to Try Them Out

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Boonyong Luangjumpol, also known as Ajarn Ton, was recently arrested in Thailand’s Yanglad district after he allegedly gave local teens magic tattoos and told them they made them invincible. Unsurprisingly, they wanted to try out their ink armor and engaged in a series of brawls.

Sak Yant is an ancient type of Thai tattoo said to bestow the bearer with mystical powers. It incorporates Buddhist prayers called Mantras or Katas that will invoke supernatural powers. These magic spells were originally inscribed on pieces of cloth, and centuries ago, Thai soldiers would wear Yant-printed jackets to offer them extra protection in battle. After Budhism was adopted as a religion in Thailand, it became common for devotees to have Sak Yant tattoos etched into their skin. Even today, many Thai men believe in their mystical powers, and have one or more tattoos inscribed on their bodies. There are also lots of stories of people sporting Sak Yant tattoos who were shot at close range without even having their skin pierced, or horrific car accidents from which tattoo bearers emerged unscathed. But as recent events have proven, they don’t always work.

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Chinese Airline Judges Pilot Candidates by Armpit Odor

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A Chinese airline has sparked controversy after it was reported it included a zero-body-odor requirement in its pilot recruitment tests. Applicants had their armpits sniffed by company staff, to check for any bad smells.

You think requirements stink in your line of work? Think again. Chinese company Hainan Airlines demanded to smell under the arms of students interviewing as trainee aircrew. Obviously, there were other requirements as well, including 20/20 vision, a maximum height of 1.87 meters and a very good knowledge of the English language, but meeting them and failing the bad odor test meant instant elimination for candidates. “I passed everything, but I was doomed by my armpits, which are always a bit whiffy”, said one of the applicants. Asked about the purpose of this unusual requirement, one of the Hainan Airlines testers said “our staff works very closely with the public, and no passenger wants to smell a pilot’s armpits. And if they can keep their cool min this test, they aren’t going to sweat in the cockpit.” The photos below paint a pretty clear picture of how the BO test was conducted.

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Face Yoga Finally Gives You an Excuse to Look Silly

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If the years are starting to take their toll on your once flawless visage, there may yet be a way to turn back the clock, before turning to Botox injections and other cosmetic procedures. It’s called face yoga and is apparently allows practitioners to control the way their face ages.

Face yoga was developed by Annelise Hagen, who calls is the ultimate face-lift. The New York yoga instructor says her technique is meant to be a natural alternative to Botox and cosmetic procedures, which cost Americans billions of dollars every year. She started working on her unique set of facial exercises after she learned her students, most of them well-educated professionals, were practicing yoga, but also getting Botox shots during their lunch breaks to hide their wrinkles. Hagen just didn’t feel that was in the spirit of yoga, so she decided to create a proper alternative. Based on the premise that, like any other muscles in the human body, facial muscles need exercise to stay toned, face yoga offers a range of exercises to help people looking younger for longer. And the best part, face yoga poses, like Smiling Fish (purse your lips and smile slightly), the Marilyn (blow kisses while keeping your forehead smooth) and the Satchmo (puff out your face and transfer air from cheek to cheek), also give you a chance to act silly and release accumulated tension.

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Surveillance Camera Man Highlights Privacy Issues by Filming People without Permission

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An anonymous person known only as “Surveillance Camera Man” is sparking controversy by filming people in public and private spaces without asking for their permission. Clever way of highlighting privacy issues or just intentionally provoking people?

Why is it that hardly anyone minds being on camera wherever they go, but whenever there’s a face attached to the camera, everyone becomes agitated. Whether we’re walking on the street, going into a bank or at school, there are all these cameras watching our every move, and yet we choose to ignore them. But if an actual person is holding the camera, we feel like they’re violating our privacy. This is what Surveillance Camera Man, an anonymous man from Seattle has been proving with his series of videos posted on YouTube. Granted, sometimes he’s actually doing his filming on private property, but even when he’s filming people in parking lots or on the street without saying a word to them, you can see it’s making them very uncomfortable. Most claim he’s violating their privacy, forgetting they’re in public places, and some even lash out at the camera or call the police. However you feel about Surveillance Camera Man and his approach, you have to admit it’s darn interesting project.

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Prepare to Be Owned as Japanese Man Auctions Off Planet Earth

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We see crazy and bizarre items auctioned off on sites like eBay or Yahoo Auctions, every day, but this is the first time someone actually thought about selling our planet. The starting price was a measly ¥69 ($0.86), but since the auction went viral, the price has surged to ¥9,889,899,888 ($123,000,000). I still think it’s a bargain.

I know, this might seem like a joke to you, but it’s apparently no laughing matter to the seller. In the product description, it’s mentioned the Earth was bestowed upon the seller by God, who appeared to him in a dream. And since these are tough times, he decided to sell it to the highest bidder and improve his financial status. He lists our planet as “authentic” and warns bidders there is a “no return” policy on the item. So if you end up placing a bid and wind up owning the Earth and its inhabitants, you’re kind of stuck with us. You might feel tempted to post a prank bid on this, but the seller instructs all potential buyers to include a message expressing there serious intention to buy planet Earth, otherwise he will consider it a prank bid. And if there are too many prank bids he threatens to close the auction and start over at ¥69. In fact, he already did that once already, so please, be careful.

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Professional Mattress Jumper Is an Actual Job

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You probably thought those high-end mattresses people pay thousands of dollars for are hand-made. As it turns out, they’re also foot made, as someone is actually getting paid to jump on them hundreds of times in order to compress no fewer than 28 layers of cotton batting.

Growing up, you probably dreamed you would one day find a job that would require nothing else than jumping on beds. Well, it turns out such a job actually exists, only those doing it insist it’s not child’s play. “It’s work,” professional mattress jumper Reuben Reynoso says. ”It’s not for everybody. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it.” It’s not about achieving a great height or doing back flips and somersaults, but using his soles to compress the mattress layers and detecting any pea-size lumps in the filling. To do that, Reynolds uses a very precise, grid jumping pattern, making sure he covers the entire surface. ”This is not a game,” he says. ”Not to me.” And I’m inclined to believe him. After all, we’re talking about $2,700 mattresses, here, not trampolines.

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Scientists Declare Buddhist Monk the Happiest Man in the World

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Matthieu Ricard, a French researcher turned Buddhist monk was declared the happiest man on Earth by a group of scientists, after it was discovered his brain produces a level of gamma waves never before reported in the field of neuroscience.

A former molecular geneticist who left his life and career behind to discover the secrets of Buddhism, Matthieu Ricard is now one of the most celebrated monks in the Himalayas and a trusted advisor of the Dalai Lama. And while this transformation is impressive enough, there’s something else that makes Ricard a very special person. In 2009, neuroscientist Richard Davidson, from the University of Wisconsin, wired up the French monk’s head with 256 sensors as part of a research project on hundreds of advanced practitioners of meditation. The scans showed something remarkable: when meditating on compassion, Ricard’s brain produced a level of gamma waves linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory that were never even reported before in neuroscience literature. Furthermore, the scans scans also showed excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, giving him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity. These results earned Matthieu Ricard the unofficial title of “happiest man in the world”.

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The Bone Collector – Man Amasses Creepy Collection of over 7,000 Animal Skulls and Bones

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Ray Bandar, a retired biologist from San Francisco, has spent the last 50 years collecting thousands of animal bones. He estimates he has 7,000 skulls, 200 pelvises and countless other limbs from animals he mostly found and cleaned himself.

“I enjoy removing the flesh from the skull and disarticulating the jaws,” Bandar recently said in an interview for National Geographic’s Taboo series. ”I see nothing gross about this, whether it’s a fresh animal or a badly decomposed animal, makes no difference to me.” The native San Franciscan grew up in the Richmond District and started collecting different animal specimens in junior high. That’s when he got the nickname “Reptile Ray”. As time passed, his passion for collecting and cleaning dead animals grew, and he is now the proud owner of a collection of over 7,000 skulls, including 2,600 from California marine mammals. Over the years, his own discoveries have been supplemented from local zoos, museums, taxidermists, roadkill, and trips to Australia, Africa and Mexico. His house is like no other on Earth – every room is virtually crammed with bones and skulls from animals Ray decapitated himself, but he still roams the beaches of Northern California looking for new and exciting additions to his museum home.

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For English Family Living in the Middle of a Cemetery Every Day Is Halloween

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Would you be brave enough to spend a night in an old mortuary chapel surrounded by dozens of graves? One English family is more than happy to sleep in such a house every night, and say it’s actually their dream home.

Jayne Stead and partner Mike Blatchford didn’t seem to mind the creepy graves and spooky statues when they decided to move into an old cemetery keeper’s lodge, in Southampton, England. The cemetery didn’t put us off. We don’t spook easily, in fact I love watching scary films and television shows,” 52-year-old Jayne told reporters. When we first had a look around it was really run down, there were graves everywhere but it never really felt scary, there was very nice feeling about the place.” Self-employed builder Mike Bletchford spend a whole year and about £100,000 ($160,000) turning the chapel into a home for his family, and today you couldn’t tell the living room was once a mortuary… But, while they’ve never seen a ghost in their unusual home, the couple admit they have witnessed some bizarre occurrences:  ”I’ve been sitting on my own in the living room and I’ve felt like there was someone standing behind me a few times,” Ms Stead said. “I’ve also found the dog barking at nothing in the corner of the room, but it’s not scary.”

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Woman Who Only Eats Junk Food and Milk Says She Has Never Eaten Fruits or Vegetables

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54-year-old Marla Lopez, from New York City, says the supermarket snack aisle has become her dinner aisle, as she will only consume three types of foods (potato chips, white breads and milk), and has never even tried fruits or vegetables.

Recently featured on Good Morning America, Lopez said her picky eating started as a baby, when she would gag on her baby food, and today, foods that most people consider mouth-watering, like spaghetti, sandwiches or omelets are just repulsive to her. Not to mention fresh produce – “When I look at this, I don’t see food. I would no sooner eat any of this, than I would your shoe,” she told correspondent Linsey Davis about fruits and vegetables. When it comes to her favorite food, there’s no doubt in Marla’s mind: potato chips. “They’re so salty, and fresh, and potato-y, I love them,” she said. Her daily diet is primarily made up of three basic foods: milk, white breads and potatoes. She enjoys eating ice-cream, crackers, pancakes, tortillas, chips and french fries. Sometimes she spices up her heart-stopping meals with a few slices of crispy bacon.

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Armageddon-Proof Survival Pod Proves a Big Hit

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You may be all happy and carefree today celebrating Halloween, but don’t forget that according to the Mayan calendar the end of days is less than two months away. Luckily, there’s a way around it – a survival pod built by a Chinese inventor who claims it can withstand the end of the world.

It’s big, it’s round, and apparently it will keep you alive in case of a natural disaster or a nuclear meltdown. Officially, it’s called the “Atlantis”, but everyone has started calling it a modern-day Noah’s Arc. Chinese entrepreneur and inventor Yang Zongfu worked on his survival pod for the last two years and spent around $150,000 making it as durable as possible. Back in August, he announced a series of public tests which would prove his Armageddon-proof survival pod was ready for the end of the world. On August 6, he climbed inside the Atlantis and was pushed down a 50-meter obstacle course on the side of a hill, over a bed of rocks and into a pool. Sadly, as soon as it hit the water, the arc’s door opened proving it was less than water tight. the inventor himself came out in one piece, but with a cut on his chin. But that didn’t discourage Yang, who moved on to the fire test, in which he set a smaller version of the Atlantis on fire, and pulled out a frozen ice-cream that had been perfectly preserved inside.

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The Daily Talk – Liberia’s Blackboard Newspaper

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The Daily Talk is a unique news medium published on a blackboard in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city. As most Liberians lack the money and means to access conventional mass media, this chalk-written daily “newspaper” is the most widely read report in Monrovia.

In the Western world, many are already talking about the death of written media, and the coming age of online information, but in some countries, access to old-fashion newspapers is still a thing of the future. Many Monrovians can’t afford to buy real newspapers or electricity to access the internet, so Alfred J. Sirleaf, the founder of this blackboard newspaper had to come up with a way to bring information to the people in an inexpensive way. He believes a well-informed people is the key to Liberia’s rebirth so ever since he started his unique venture  on Tubman Boulevard, in 2000, in central Monrovia, he’s been providing valuable news every single day. For local news, he relies on a team of volunteer reporters who come to him with stories, while for international events he goes to an internet cafe to access sites like the BBC, because he doesn’t own a computer. Then, in the newsroom, a small wooden shed attached to the back of his blackboard, he updates The Daily Talk with chalk. He’s the editor, the designer and sole employee of the unique newspaper, yet he manages to get his message across.

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Japanese DVD Lets You Go on a Dinner Date without an Actual Date

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Getting a girl to go out to dinner with you isn’t as easy as some people think. Luckily, now there’s a DVD that allows single men to experience a dinner date, without having to convince a woman to go out with them. It’s called “Amateur Dinner Time – Let’s Eat Together! -, and it’s hilarious.

Maybe you’re too shy to ask a girl out, or maybe you’re just too cheap to take her to a restaurant. Whatever your reason, you’re probably a bit curious about what it must be like to have a pleasant conversation with an attractive girl, over dinner. Now, thanks to a series of original DVDs released by Japanese media company K-NETWORK, you can (sort of) interact with cute girls from in front of your TV screen. Each of the three Amateur Dinner Time DVDs features a number of attractive ladies as they sit across the table from the camera enjoying their meal and engaging in small talk. They probably don’t answer your every question, or laugh at your stupid kokes, but hey, you can’t have everything, right?

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Man Sues Wife for Being Ugly, Gets Awarded $120,000 in Damages

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In what may be the weirdest divorce trial in recent history, a man in China sued his wife for being ugly and actually won the right to divorce her and a substantial settlement of $120,000.

No, this is not a joke. Earlier this year, Jian Feng, a man from northern China took his spouse to court for being ugly. But you couldn’t really tell that by looking at her, in fact the unnamed woman could be considered attractive by most standards. To make things even weirder, the judge actually ruled in his favor, granting him the right to a divorce and a settlement of around $120,000. This probably makes no sense to you right now, but I’ll try to clarify things as best I can. Jian Feng’s problems began when he and his wife had their first baby. The man described his daughter as “incredibly ugly” and told the court she resembled neither of the parents. Now, most fathers would just hold their piece and love that little angel as if she were the most beautiful baby ever born, but not Feng. He started accusing his wife of cheating on him, and he kept at it until she couldn’t take no more and finally admitted she might have something to do with the baby’s appearance.

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